Gig ~ the people’s choice

Do you know that saying, “the heart wants what the heart wants” ?

What about, “if your heart’s not in it, don’t do it”?

Photo by Andrew Neel on

Then there’s the, “Run madly, truly, quickly to your passion and your dreams”.

All of those things are easy for the affluent and the well connected.

The people who side hustle and leaning in to the gig economy are younger than us or less educated than us, but somehow, are proving to be smarter than us.

Why? Because they are proving their value, their worth, by making more of us with less formal education and less need to conform to our traditional view that we learned as we were getting older.

If a kid who is 30 years old can make $150K a year by posting silly clips to Tik Tok, we are furious. We want that kid to go back to bartending. He does and will, but only on his terms. He had defined his boundaries based on the idea that WE taught him from an early age.

We literally sold him the book on how to reclaim his power, or pursue his happiness and now that he is ~ we’re kvetching about how nobody will go back to work to serve us our legal stimulants.

What’s that you say? The baristas from our local favorite coffee shop quit her job? Oh no!

You mean she doesn’t want to get hit on every day by pervvy Frank who still thinks he looks hot in his spandex bike shorts? He’s gross. He’s always been gross. When the owners of said coffee shop know a perverted old dude is STILL hitting on young women “essential workers” ~ and they do nothing about it ~ it’s their fault nobody will go back to work. NOT her.

Sorry my elite Ivy League friends who never had to work as a blue collar, paycheck to paycheck employee ~ I know you will be offended by this or you will downplay the entire idea of it, since it was most likely you or your friends doing it but … I was sexually harassed at work every DAY for a decade. I was told to shut up and get over it. By bosses. By consumers. By strangers online.

Women are speaking up & it’s freaking out the world

The gymnasts who changed the conversation about sexual abuse at work.

She’s following our lead. She developed Grit and Resilience. She put up her boundaries. Not being psychologically tortured by rude, gross customers because she now knows she deserves better ~ is the boldest empowerment move to date.

I’m for it. I’m a big fan of pursuing your dreams, following your heart and listening to your intuitive soul work.

BBC News Harassment Survey

My issue with it is, don’t you think all those people who work at fast food places, who are exhausted, abused daily by customers and middle managers alike, also have a calling, and a passion to follow their dreams?

Sure they do.

The people who work in restaurants aren’t there because they are not capable of achieving their goals. They are there to survive life. Honestly, working in restaurants can be a lot of fun. It can be a dream job if you like to socialize, have the brain for amazing memory and quick decision making and can tolerate rudeness while being scrambled into a frenzy every day (night).

I did it for a long time while first, supporting my child and then, supporting a child + a master’s program.

People in that master’s program who were turning me into a community psychologist, someone who worked with community based social change, also told me that if I continued to work IN the community as a laborer, I wouldn’t get any respect from the hiring people in charge of community programs.

Tell me how that makes sense, ’cause 22 years later, it still doesn’t make sense to me.

Do you know who is the best observer of the conditions of any community you walk into?

Do you know who the best person to ask how it’s going with community programs? Are they working?

The people who live paycheck to paycheck. The people who work two jobs just to survive. The people who need to experience using government programs like food stamps or heating help, because the world is too expensive for them.

Not the middle managers who sit around judging those people. I’m not saying all middle managers abuse their power, but I have seen more than my fair share of it.

When you study social justice, but go through a hard patch, you also receive a hard core life lesson in humility that you don’t necessarily want to have to experience. There is no choice.

Today, people were forced to open side hustles and side gigs. We live in a gig economy with ride share and delivery services. I’ve seen countless parents, with kid in tow, doing the grocery shopping for other people. Does it pay?

If you have 10 of those side hustles, then yeah.

People have flocked to YouTube to teach other people how to side gig.

Why would anyone go back to working for a boss who grabs their ~ lack of power ~ while listening to one abusive jerk customer after another?

I know it’s making you nervous to not have a favorite service at your ready, but did you defend them, while the man behind you in line was screaming at not getting their McMuffin fast enough or that time the lady in front of you, coughing all over your kid was screaming at the barista for not adding enough foam?

Guess what?

The barista now has 200K followers on Tik Tok, giving advice in how to make foam leaves in your coffee and that former cashier is now making 20 runs a day, on her own time, around her child’s schedule, as her own boss.

The gig work force is celebrating their dream of defining who they are, how they are treated, and what their terms are.

Even if the elite are kvetching ~ stay true to your dreams.

Even if we have to bag our own groceries or make our own General Tsao’s chicken … keep going with that brilliant financial advice on YouTube.

Even if we have to do our own laundry, or wash our own cars, and make our own evening out ~ ’cause if we are nasty mean to wait staff ~ we should be banned from our local restaurants ~

Keeping going ~ create your gig work and celebrate the struggle.

Be part of the solution people, not the problem.

Each and every one of us has had to endure the 19 months of being forced to pitch in ~ the solution slid into home plate sideways and upside down.

Photo by Loc Dang on

I was hoping we’d all come out of it nicer to each other. That didn’t happen.

Well, it did in some sections. Some people have gone out of their way to be nice to others. Some people have taken advantage of the disadvantages to rise even higher in their cash cow profiteering.

Don’t be afraid to see both the good and the bad in the world. Blinders on is NOT the happiest of solution, but it sure is the one many of our more privileged populations are taking.

I’m outta here. Taking advantage of the quiet hour and doing what I love.

I know I am blessed with this new life. I will never forget what I went through to get here.

I can’t, even if I wanted to. PTSD healing is a very long journey we don’t just ‘forget’ or ‘forgive’. That’s a whole other blog.

Do me a favor?

When you are out there today, buying your coffee or picking up your groceries ~ doing whatever it is you do with a Saturday ~

Photo by Thirdman on

Try to imagine the life each and every person you meet has outside of that tiny slice of their lives you walked in on.

Imagine yourself, as I have been, a social justice community researcher. Observe their smile. Look people in the eye. Ask them if they are doing well. Thank them for helping you.

Saying please and thank you are vastly underrated as a powerful healer. Look that person who just provided your service, in the eye, then say, “Thank you” with the sincerity of your lifetime.

You’ll see.

Go on now. Get to it.

I’m heading back to my write life.

In peace and awakened potential,

(c) @happinessnoir @inkhoneypub @K.ArenHenryMiller

Published by happinessnoir

Writer | Advocate | Free Range Female | Change Agent | Essayist

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: